Hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) in seafood processing: An analysis of its application and use in regulation in the Sultanate of Oman

Moza A. Al-Busaidi*, David J. Jukes, Shekar Bose

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


When considering the supply of fish products to consumers, the adoption of food safety management systems throughout the ‘net to plate’ continuum is of a paramount importance. It is essential to safeguard consumers and to facilitate regional and international trade. This study has assessed the technical barriers and benefits associated with the implementation of management system incorporating HACCP and related pre-requisite programmes in the seafood processors in the Sultanate of Oman. A survey, using qualitative surveys and interviews, was conducted out to verify the level of implementation of the seafood safety and quality requirements. A total of 22 (92% returned) HACCP processors, and 15 (83% returned) non-HACCP processors and 15 (75%) officials completed the questionnaires. Differences between processors operating with or without a HACCP system in place have been identified. The survey of local officials provided an additional perspective on the issues involved. The implications of handling practices in the seafood supply chain, seafood trade and the cost implications of implementing HACCP-based food safety management systems were also assessed. In comparison to the non-HACCP processors, the results indicated that HACCP firms were more diversified in their export markets and were able to target the more lucrative markets such as EU, Japan and America. However, the processors felt that the main barrier for exporting to these markets was the restriction imposed by the government on exporting certain species which reduced their ability to meet contracts with these countries. The study has also shown inadequate execution of prerequisite programmes due mainly to lack of training delivered to food handlers and a poor knowledge of food safety concepts. In particular there is an overreliance on the use of CCPs to control hazards when prerequisite programmes would be more appropriate is many situations. When considering whether to implement HACCP-based control systems, the seafood processors identified barriers linked to costs as their main concerns. However, whilst recognising this issue, the officials also highlighted barriers linked to the lack of expertise, skills and commitment of the staff. In general, the study highlighted significant gaps which undermine the effectiveness and success of implementing safety and quality requirements to meet national legislative obligations. These include: poor attitudes and understanding toward HACCP and its pre-requisite programmes, lenient enforcement by the authorities, the lack of training and consultancy organizations in the country, a lack of awareness. The overlapping structure of the regulatory authorities in the country and the distribution of national inspection resources have also been identified as an issue of concern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-915
Number of pages16
JournalFood Control
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Food safety and quality
  • Oman
  • Pre-requisite programmes
  • Seafood
  • Trade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science


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